Best Outdoor Basketball 2020- Unbiased Reviews & Buyers Guide

Best Outdoor BasketballAre you looking for the best outdoor basketball that is not just durable but also has a great grip so that you can shoot for the hoop with great ease?

The choice is overwhelming with a wide range of brands such as Spalding, Wilson, Molten X, etc. being available online. You need to consider a lot of things such as size, weight, design, outer cover material, brand, price, etc. In such a case, selecting one can be an uphill task.

But wait!

Here’s the ultimate guide to help you make the right choice.  So, get ready to put on your sneakers and hit the court to play like a pro!

 

List of Top Rated Outdoor Indoor Basketballs

Basketball BrandRatingCheck Price
1. Spalding NBA Zi/O
2. Molten X-Series FIBA Approved
3. Wilson NCAA Replica Game
4. Spalding NBA Zi/O Excel
5. Spalding NBA Street Pink/Purple
6. Spalding NBA Replica
7. Spalding Rookie Gear
8. Under Armour 495 Composite
9. Baden Crossover Composite

 

Top 9 Outdoor Basketballs Reviews

One the basis of the above criteria, here are the top-rated basketballs along with their main features, pros, and cons:

1. Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor Outdoor Basketball

Best Outdoor BasketballThis is one of the best basketballs that you can lay your hands on since it has a great grip and can be used for both indoor as well as outdoor play. The brand Spalding is synonymous with high-quality and durable basketballs that last long.

Some of the main features of this ball can be highlighted as follows:

  • Official NBA size and weight: size 7, 29.5 inches
  • Made of composite leather
  • Black stripe groves give an amazing grip
  • Shipped inflated and is ready to play with
  • Excellent design
Pros
  • Feels good in hands and has a great grip
  • Reasonably priced
  • Excellent user reviews and ratings
Cons
  • Collects dust outside
  • Needs to be inflated frequently

 

2. Molten X-Series Indoor Outdoor Basketball FIBA Approved

Molten X SeriesMolten is a brand that is often associated with top athletes the world over. It’s important to note that it is the official ball of FIBA or Fédération Internationale de Basketball.

This ball comes with a unique/signature 12 panel design which helps a great deal in improving the grip. This ensures greater ease in dribbling, passing and shooting for the hoop.

  • X Series is a further enhancement of the original ball’s functionality and visibility.
  • It has a uniform pebble surface for a better grip while playing to ensure better shooting and passing
  • It has been designed to increase visibility so that the players can track the rotation of the ball with ease
Pros
  • Incredible bounce and 12-panel construction gives an amazing grip
  • Synthetic cover on the ball does not absorb water, which again is great for grip and outdoor game
  • According to independent review sites it is rated as the second-best basketball next only to Wilson Evolution which is an indoor basketball
  • There’s no air leakage. This is a massive plus point as compared to other balls that leak air and often require inflating
  • 1 Year Warranty
Cons
  • It comes deflated and might leave creases on the panels
  • It is somewhat undersized as compared to the Spalding NBA

 

3. Wilson NCAA Replica Game BasketballBest Outdoor Basketball

This ball is a replica of NCAA game ball and it can be used for both indoor as well as outdoor. It comes with a 100% composite cover and is great for absorbing moisture. What it means is that it comes with a great grip. As against the Wilson Evolution ball, it can be used to play outdoors as well.

Here are some of the main features of this ball:

  • Replica of the original game ball
  • 100% composite cover
  • cushion core carcass helps you shoot it with great ease
  • Size & or 27.5 Inches
  • Proper Inflation Level – 7.9 PSI
Pros
  • Durable and sturdy in quality. Its not uncommon for people to use it for 8-10 years
  • Works great for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Great tack, feel and bounce
  • Composite leather construction ensures that it does not fade away quickly like Spalding
  • Comes with pebbling on the ribs too which adds to grip in free throws
Cons
  • Initially, the ball is sticky and picks up dust outside
  • Might lose air and require inflating often

 

4. Spalding NBA Zi/O Excel Basketball

Best Outdoor BasketballSpalding is a name that is now synonymous with high-quality game balls and this one is also immensely popular for both outdoor as well as indoor play. It comes with a Zi/O tournament composite cover and a foam-backed design for an excellent feel. This ball comes inflated and is game ready. It comes in official NBA size and weight.

Yet another important feature of this ball is that it comes with deep channel design to ensure better dribbling.

  • Size 6, 28.5 inches ball
  • Comes with a composite cover and is perfect for outdoor play
  • Can be used for indoor play as well
  • Comes inflated and is ready to play with
Pros
  • Bounces well and is great for shooting
  • Durable and lasts longer, breaks in well
  • Great grip, can be compared to more expensive balls
Cons
  • Can wear out quickly when used indoors
  • Loses its tackiness on frequent use

 

5. Spalding NBA Street Basketball Pink/Purple

Spalding NBA Pink PurpleIt is the typical street ball with a durable rubber cover that can stand up to asphalt or concrete. This ball comes with a two-tone outer cover and deep channel design for a better grip. It is a size 6 ball or 28.5 inches, which is the official size of WNBA.

This ball comes with an ultra-durable rubber cover and is just great to play outside with.

The pink and purple combination is a hit with women.

  • Intermediate, size 6 or 28.5 inches
  • comes with a rubber cover
  • can be used for both indoor and outdoor play
  • other options in size 7 and 5 (youth ball) are also available
Pros
  • Great grip and holds air wonderfully
  • It comes fully inflated
  • Does not lose grip even when your hands get sweaty and is easy to dribble, shoot and pass
  • Extremely durable and can does not wear out easily
  • Great value for money
Cons
  • Can get deflated often requiring you to fill the air again
  • some people might find the color to be less bright

 

6. Spalding NBA Replica Indoor/Outdoor Basketball

Spalding NBA Replica GameThis ball is the replica of the official NBA game ball. It comes with a composite cover in place of the leather one but it gets very close to the look and feel of the original ball.

But wait, that’s not all!

It even gets you the same sound when you dribble.

It comes backed with Spalding’s warranty.

  • replica of the original official game ball
  • gives the same sound of dribble and leather feel as the original one
  • comes in both size 6 and size 7 and confirms to the official weight
  • comes inflated and is ready to play with
Pros
  • Bounces well when filled
  • Good to play with outdoors
  • Better than most of the other brands with the same price tag
Cons
  • Might wear down quickly with outdoor use
  • Might feel slippery outdoors

 

7. Spalding Rookie Gear Indoor Outdoor Composite Leather

Spalding Rookie Gear Indoor Outdoor Composite LeatherThis is essentially a youth basketball that comes in size 5 or 27.5 inches. It’s supposed to be 15% lighter to help beginners and newbies (for kids 8 years old and under) develop technique and master the art of dribbling and shooting for the hoop.

This model from Spalding is made for both indoor and outdoor play. Young players like the vibrant colors that it comes in and find it rather cool.

Composite cover that it comes is perfect for indoor play on hardwood or rubber courts. At the same time, its great for outdoor use as well. In simple words, you can use it on concrete and asphalt as well.

  • Youth size 5, 27.5 inches
  • comes with a composite cover
  • suitable for both indoor and outdoor play
  • lighter than other youth brand on the market
Pros
  • Lightweight and a great grip for young users (much lighter than Wilson Street Shot)
  • Bounces high with little effort
  • Is soft and has a feel like that of leather which helps in passing and shooting for the hoop
Cons
  • Colors might start peeling off with regular use
  • Might lose air quickly requiring to be inflated again
  • Some balls might bounce less

 

8. Under Armour 495 Indoor Outdoor Composite Leather

Under Armour 495Under Armour is another brand that’s quite popular and well known for its high-quality basketballs. This is an official size 7 basketball that is suitable for men and boys over the age of 15. It can be used for both indoor and outdoor play.

One of the unique features of this ball is its deep channel design that helps greatly in improving the grip of the ball.

Some of the main features can be listed as follows:

  • comes with composite gripskin
  • has superior grip and feel
  • comes with 80% Nylon windings in order to retain shape with regular use and play
  • has 100% Butyl Bladder in order to retain maximum air
Pros
  • Great feel and durability
  • comes with great bounce
  • channel gaps add to the grip
  • can be used for both indoor and outdoor play
Cons
  • slightly harder than other brands
  • some users find it somewhat heavy as well

 

9. Baden Crossover Composite Indoor Outdoor Basketball

This outdoor basketball comes with the soft and tacky feel of a high-end ball. It comes with a durable composite outer cover which makes it suitable for outside play. This ball makes a good choice since it comes with widely spaced symmetrical panels that ensure an amazing grip.

It is available in 3 sizes and a couple of color variations.

  • Symmetrical panels are great for consistency in shooting, passing, catching, rebounding, and ball handling
  • Available in brown, black-gree, black-orange, and black-silver colors
  • Comes in Size 5, 6 and 7
Pros
  • Nice composite cover for outdoors
  • good value for money in terms of quality
  • color scheming looks good specially when the ball spins
  • can be used to play inside as well as outside
  • cheap as compared to other brands
Cons
  • bounces less
  • might need to be filled frequently

 

 

Desirable Features of Best Outdoor Basketball

1. Should Have the Right Feel

One of the most important features of a good basketball, whether you want to play indoor or outdoor, is that it should feel right.

Period. what does it mean?

What it implies is that the ball that you choose must have the right grip. A good grip is everything in a basketball game and until and unless its right, you cannot enjoy your game. Furthermore, it should glide easily through your fingers when shooting for the hoop. Ideally, leather balls have a soft feel that’s not just great for passing and shooting. They also ensure a good grip even when your hands are sweaty and wet.

However, leather balls are expensive and can be used for playing indoor only.

On the other hand, balls with composite leather offer equally good grip and are more durable. They are perfect for both indoor and outdoor play. Rubber balls are suitable for outdoor play and have more bounce.

The Right Feel

 

2. Should Deflate Less

One of the most common problems that a lot of basketballs tend to get affected with is that they get deflated with a drop in temperatures. If you have been playing basketball for some time, you should be knowing that with your ball getting deflated, its not possible to dribble or even have your ball bounce right.

After all, what good is a basketball that doesn’t bounce well?

While all basketballs, good or bad, tend to deflate but the high-quality ones lose less air. It’s not my idea of having a ball that has to be inflated every week!

Your ball should deflate less often but in case, try to have a ball pump at home to fill air whenever required.

3. Durability

What about wear and tear?

I am sure you don’t want to buy a new basketball every other month. Your much-loved basketball has to bear a lot when it is exposed to hard surfaces, metal backboards, dirt, grime and dust and all this can take a toll on your ball.

This is why it is of utmost importance to look for a ball that is long-lasting and can bear wear and tear for at least a few years. People like to play with the same ball for 8, 10 and even more years.

The BottomlineWhether you play on concrete or asphalt, your ball should be able to bear the friction it’s exposed to.

4. Moisture Grip

While it doesn’t mean that your ball has to be waterproof or even water-resistant, it should at least be able to handle water nice and tight. A lot of guys like to play even in rain. Furthermore, its also quite possible that your ball might get into the puddle of water if you are playing outdoors. In such a case, your ball should be of such quality that it does not lose its grip on being exposed to water.

You do get sweaty, don’t you?

As you play, your hands are likely to get sweaty and your ball should be able to bear it without affecting your grip. There’s no point in having a ball that can’t stand moisture and make it hard for you to play with sweaty and wet hands. Best outdoor basketballs are able to absorb enough moisture so that you can dribble, pass and shoot with the ball gliding through your fingers with great ease.

5. Weight of the Ball

Weight – Your ball is exposed to heavy dribbling and shooting for the hoop.  What it also means that all this play can result in your ball being worn off.  Over time, this can result in making your ball lose its weight. The quality of materials used should be such that your ball does not become light and lose its weight.

In other words, the basketball that you choose should be sturdy and heavy enough to stand normal wear and tear caused during play. Best outdoor basketballs are not just the proper weight but also rate high on the durability index.

6. Your Skill Level

I have played basketball for a couple of years and I can safely say that players can be broadly classified into skilled players and beginners who are trying to shoot hoops in their driveway or school.

Skilled players need strong balls and they often need to replace their old balls because of heavy wear and tear. Kids and beginners, however, can play with the same ball for years. Kids and women to choose bright-colored balls whereas men generally opt for a burnt-hue orange shade that well-established brands are known for.

7. Size of the Ball

Now again, basketballs come in three sizes:

SizeCircumferenceUsed by
527.5 InchesYouth Basketball – Used by kids below up till the age of 11
628.5 InchesUsed by women and boys between the age of 11-14
729.5 InchesUsed by men and boys above the age of 15

 

Basketball Sizes

8. Outer Cover Material

Basketballs come with various designs and outer material. This obviously can affect grip and performance. Some of the different types of ball textures include the following:

  • Leather Basketballs – As the name suggests, these balls are made of 100% leather. Initially, they feel coarse or right but they tend to get smooth with use and play. They are a perfect kind of indoor basketball. These balls were used by NBA but they are not used any longer since they take time to get used to.
  • Composite Leather Basketballs – These are synthetic basketballs and are soft to touch from the start. They are usually made of artificial leather.
  • Rubber Basketballs – These balls are entirely made of rubber and can be used on concrete courts. Thus, they are a perfect example of an outdoor basketball. More often than not, they are used by newbies or beginners.
  • Training Basketballs – These balls are specifically manufactured for upcoming professionals who want to practice their game day in and day out. Weighted basketballs are also an example of this kind.

 

9. Brand

Certain brands are known to have up the game in their respective industries and its no different when it comes to indoor or outdoor basketballs. There are certain names that are synonymous with quality, durability, and performance.

Moreover, some people are loyal to certain brands and go for their products every time they need to buy a new basketball.

Some of the most popular basketball brands include Wilson, Spalding, Molten etc.

10. User Reviews

User feedback and reviews are the most important index of the quality of a product. Thus, you must check user reviews carefully so that you can take an informed and well-educated decision before you make your purchase.

11. Price

Price is another major factor that you need to consider before you buy a basketball. Check out the price of different brands and choose one that suits your pocket. There might be some great deals on certain websites offering good discounts as well.

Best Outdoor Basketball

FAQ

Q1. What is the Best Outdoor Basketball?

There’s no dearth of basketballs online or offline. A lot of brands exist in the market but the one that you choose depends upon your age, budget and several other factors mentioned above. Spalding NBA Zi/O Indoor Outdoor Basketball is a good option and a lot of people prefer it for outdoor play.

Having said that, there are a couple of other options as well. For instance, women might prefer Spalding NBA Pink and Purple while young kinds may opt for Spalding Rookie Gear.

Q2. Is Composite Leather Good for Outdoor?

Yes! There can not be two ways about it.

Even though a leather ball is soft and has a better feel, it is not suitable for outdoor play. A composite leather ball, on the other hand, is perfectly apt for an outdoor surface that could be concrete or even asphalt. It can give you far better control over your grip thereby resulting in a higher chance of making successful shots.

Q3. Which is Better Molten or Spalding?

Both the brands are quite good. However, my personal favorite is Spalding. It is more popular in the US where it is the preferred brand in many high school and college games. Molten is also good and its entirely your call which one you want to choose and play with.

Q4. What ball do they use in NBA?

Since 1983, Spalding NBA Offical Game Basketball has been the official ball and it comes with a leather cover. Its best suited for an indoor game. With its soft-touch and feel it’s a benchmark in the field of basketballs. It is also the most expensive game ball.

Q5. How many inches is the Size 7 Basketball?

The official size 7 ball has a circumference of 29.5 inches or 30 inches. It weighs around 20-22 ounces. It is the recommended size for adult basketball. This is the size that is used in high schools, colleges, and professional basketball games.

 

Conclusion

While selecting a particular ball can be a difficult task, the above guideline can help you make the right choice. I hope you are able to enjoy a good game of basketball with the choice that you make above. You can either choose Spalding NBA Zi/o Indoor Outdoor or Molten X Series. Women, on the other hand, can opt for the Spalding NBA Street Pink and Purple which has quite a sizeable female following.